I went in a half marathon yesterday. It was on wide dirt trails in a park. I didn't go there planning to race, but every race causes me to run faster than I normally would.
At first, I was following a lady who I've seen at other races. I think she is my age. I know she is faster than me. After awhile I had to let her go. I knew I couldn't sustain her pace for 13 miles. Not that much later, I passed her when she was walking.
For about the first 7 miles, the footing was good and I kept to a nearly 6 mph pace. Then, we entered an area where there was some mud, the footing was uneven and leaves were hiding trip hazards. I had to slow down some and pray not to trip. But I still found that I really wanted to run fast. But, my knee was having some glitches due to the uneven footing. It was a balancing act.
I did what I could and finally made it out of the treachery onto better trails. I crossed the finish line in 2:18, which was 10:25 pace according to my Garmin. I told the RD I was over the age of 50. He immediately said, "You are the first Master's woman," and handed me an award. I was so thrilled. Here is my picture with the award.
Then, I started walking to my car. I was talking to a nice looking man who was also walking. He said he was 58. I mentioned I was the Masters winner. We discussed why it was that we were still doing this even though we are "old". It is funny to think of "mature" people still competing and being happy about age group awards.
I really loved the experience of "hell bent for leather" I had in the treacherous part of the course. My concentration was fully on the trail in front of me and how fast could I go.
In a month, I'll be 57. I love that I'm still doing races at age 57.
This morning, I had time to sleep in and then ponder. I love fast races. In contrast, I still want to do a ultra endurance event. I asked myself the question again: which one? Today the answer came. Some days I run fast and short, and glory in the speed. Other days, I go slow and long and wander down dark corridors of pain and failure. I need to do both some of the time.
Today is a very rainy day. Since it is also chilly, I think I will put on a rain suit and go slow outside for a little bit.
Next Saturday is a full marathon. I can't wait to see how that works out.